Winter’s Bone (2010)

winters bone poster 2010 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great looking, great acting

Story is so-so

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Winter’s Bone

Studio:  Roadside Attractions

Genre(s):  Mystery/Suspense/Drama

Release Date(s):  January 21, 2010 (Sundance)/June 11, 2010 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating:  R


Ok, do you want to be a redneck or not? Learn to shoot squirrels!

Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) is stuck taking care of her brother Sonny (Isaiah Stone) and her sister Ashlee (Ashlee Thompson) with her father missing and her mother mentally ill.  When her father disappears, Ree learns he’s signed the house over as his bail.  Now Ree must break the code of the people of her area and seek out her father to save what little her family has.  Met with opposition, Ree and her uncle Teardrop (John Hawkes) must risk their lives to find Jessup Dolly.

Directed by Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone adapts the 2006 novel by Daniel Woodrell.  It was met with great critical acclaim, low box office turnout, and turned its young actress Jennifer Lawrence into a star.  The movie was nominated for four Oscars:  Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (John Hawkes), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture though it lost all four categories.


Teardrop, don’t screw this up!

The movie is great.  The acting really is top notch.  All the actors and actresses seem natural and both Lawrence and Hawkes exemplify this in their performances which are very memorable.  They do have a lot of support that are overlooked because they just seem so normal.  Ree’s “kin” are scary in their backwards ways, but the movie also makes them and everyone seem human instead of just one dimension “white trash” which could have easily been done.  Things like the army recruiter (who was a real recruiter) and even the short cameo from Twin Peaks‘ Laura Palmer veteran Sheryl Lee are done well.

Visually the movie is also so real.  You have seen these homes when you pass them on the highway, between two places and near nothing.  The set designers captured it perfectly.  The people may be struggling for food but will have a nice trampoline or satellite TV.  It’s the weird dichotomy that exists in America in particularly in poorer areas.  They are proud of their property and proud of their belongings just like a person in a richer neighborhood…it is a different world, something that can exist within one country this big.


I’ve seen better places to fish

The story is so-so.  I like that involves “kin” and the connection to blood and how sometimes blood doesn’t even count (but blood does count above the law).  I like the pride of the characters, but I do wish there was a little more substance to the story (or more mystery).  The acting does cover up for the shortfalls of the plot.

Winter’s Bone is a really good movie that is more character and setting driven than story driven.  This is intentional, but if you expect a really tense thriller, with tons of action, don’t look here.  Watch this film if you are a fan of seeing actors and actresses really take a simple script and turn it into something more.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response